Actress Tamera Mowry participated in this year’s Disney Dreamers Academy along side many other celebs. Together they inspired and encouraged 110 High School students to pursue their dreams. ESSENCE.com Managing Editor Emil Wilbekin had the pleasure of interviewing Mowry about what her dreams were as a kid, how she maintains her success and the best advice she’s ever received…

ESSENCE.com: Why is it important for you to be here today to speak to the Dreamer’s Academy?
I don’t think I would be here without the wonderful people who encouraged me and the inspirational people in my life throughout the years. If I can be that to these children, it means the world to me. A lot of the time, all we need is a little nudge of encouragement or a little push to say, ‘ I know what you’re going through. Keep on going.’

ESSENCE.com: What was your dream growing up?
This is amazing because, now that I’m an adult, I sometimes forget I’m living in my dream. This was my dream as a kid. I wanted to be an actress and I am! How amazing is that! And I’m still going. I’m 32 and it feels amazing. I didn’t give up.

ESSENCE.com: What was the best advice you ever received?
The best advice would have to be that most of the time, your number one encourager is going to be yourself. You have to believe in yourself, that’s the number one thing. Another [piece of advice] is you’re not a failure unless you stay down. Enjoy the process of success. You’re going to have your ups and downs. It’s not going to be perfect, that’s just how life is. They always say you have to endure pain to know what joy is. You have to endure sadness to know what happiness is. The same goes for success. You have to know what it feels like to fall a little bit, but never stay down.

ESSENCE.com: How do you sustain yourself and your success?
My family. The coolest thing about my family is that they could care less about this business. This does not define who I am. My family and my character define who I am. That’s my number one thing. Don’t get it twisted!

ESSENCE.com: My last question is, what’s it like to work with your twin sister?
It’s always such a joy. Honestly, it’s not work. When I’m working with my sister, it’s not work. I don’t have to study the script as much. I don’t have to work really hard on the chemistry aspect of two different characters. We just mesh. We’ll be doing a show together on the Style Network, “Tia & Tamera Take 2” and I’m excited about it. And thank you for all of the love on Essence.com, I appreciate it!